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Why Gap Is Apologizing to Customers This Time

Why Gap Is Apologizing to Customers This Time”

China, however, has an ax to grind generally-and now specifically because of an image on a T-shirt.

The losing KMT fled to Taiwan in 1949 after the civil war and China claims the self-ruled island as an inviolable part of its territory.

Gap immediately responded to the criticism on the site saying it "respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity" and that it had just learned that one of its T-shirts in some overseas markets failed to reflect the "correct" map of China.

Gap is not the first global brand to bruise China's long fingers and tender toes, but it has apologized just the same.

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Hundreds of people complained on Gap's official account on China's Weibo microblogging website, the daily said.

The photos were taken at a Gap shop in Canada's Niagara region, Global Times said.

"Upon the realization that one of our T-shirts sold in some overseas markets mistakenly failed to reflect the correct map of China, we urgently launched an internal investigation across the group and have made a decision to immediately pull back this T-shirt from all the concerned global markets", Gap said in a statement.

Gap said in a statement it "sincerely apologized for this unintentional error" and has subsequently pulled the t-shirt from the Chinese market and destroyed it.

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A series of other big Western brands have apologized over missteps on Chinese territorial issues.

In January, Australia's Qantas Airways changed its website classification of Taiwan and Hong Kong from separate countries to Chinese territories, blaming its earlier approach on an "oversight".

Other companies have felt compelled to apologize to the massive nation. On April 25, it sent dozens of worldwide airlines a written threat of severe punishments if they don't change their websites to declare that Taiwan is part of China - a move that provoked a strong pushback from the White House.

United States airline Delta (DAL) and European clothing retailer Zara also came under fire over similar issues on their websites in China.

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